Chicago Pension Problems

City Hall's pension spiral worsens

May 21, 2013
As Springfield remains stalemated over how to fix the state's underfunded pension funds, the condition of Chicago-area government pension funds is rapidly getting worse.

According to a report issued today by the Civic Federation, the unfunded liability in 10 local pension funds covering workers for the city, Chicago Public Schools, Cook County, the Chicago Transit Authority and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District rose 16.7 percent in fiscal 2011.

In round numbers, the 10 pension systems collectively are $32 billion short of the assets they'll need to pay promised benefits, up from $27.4 billion in last year's report and four times as much as a decade ago.

Put a different way, per capita pension debt for city residents — what each man, woman and child owes if the shortfall were divided evenly — now is $10,472. And the figure rises to a staggering $16,914 per person if debt on the state of Illinois' unfunded pension systems is included.

Click below to read more: